Question re: Approved Submittals & Resultant Work



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    Fernando Mingo Jozami (Edited )

    In the case that an architect approves a submittal which has not been flagged by the contractor as a deviation from the contract documents, and then it later turned out that the resultant work had to be corrected, who is responsible for covering all expenses related to the correction of the work?

    A201, 3.12.8
    "...the Contractor shall not be relieved of responsibility for deviations from requirements of the Contract Documents by Architect's approval of Shop Drawings, Product Data, Samples.......UNLESS the Contractor has specifically informed the Architect in writing of such deviations at the time of submittal and 1) Architect has given written approval 2) Change order or CCD has been issued authorizing the deviation. 

    1)For the first part of the question, the contractor is responsible, because the architect's act of approving the submittal shall not relieve the contractor from its obligation to complete work in conformance of the contract documents, unless the contractor has specifically informed the architect about such deviation, and architect's approval is written or by CO or CCD.

    Similarly, if the contractor does identify the submittal as a deviation from the contract documents but the architect approves it anyways, who would be responsible for correcting the work in that case?

    2)For the second part of the question, the owner now becomes responsible, because in this case, the provision that the contractor will be relieved of such duty if the contractor does identify the deviation comes in effect given that the architect still wants to proceed in spite of the contractor's fair warning.

    Remember that article 3.12.6 says that by submitting the drawings or samples or whatever, the contractor is representing to the owner and arch that the contractor has approved them, that they are actually fit for their use.

    This provision is a good protection for the owner.

    I hope this helps.


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    Lara Zakhem


    Thanks for both your comments, these are very helpful.

    I'm having some issues understanding the roles and responsibilities of the subcontractor vs the contractor:

    . If a subcontractor performs the work conforming with the architect's construction documents, but these documents are initially wrong and nobody had reported it. who is to blame for the error i.e. who pays for the changes, the contractor or the sub? 

    . If the subcontractor damages the existing site, is he or is the contractor responsible for the damages?

    . Are the relationships contractor/subs similar to architect/consultants? meaning that the contractor is fully responsible for his subs and the architect is fully responsible for his consultants? 



  • Avatar
    Fernando Mingo Jozami

    1)Contractor pays.
    2)The contractor is responsible for site safety and any damages that can occur. He can later demand payment to his own sub but to the owner he is responsible of paying for any damages.
    3)There is what common law calls “vicarious responsability” among arch/cons & contractor/sub but no party can claim to be fully responsible for the other.

    All these answers are in AIA A-201 and C-401

  • Avatar
    Lara Zakhem

    Thank your for your quick reply!

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